I joined City-REDI in September 2021 as a Research Fellow on the EUniWell (European University for Well-being) project. EUniWell is led by a network of seven European Universities – University of Birmingham (UK), the University of Cologne (Germany), the University of Florence (Italy), the University of Nantes (France), Leiden University (the Netherlands), Linnaeus University (Sweden), and Semmelweis University (Hungary) – who work with over 100 associate partners within their home countries and cities or regions. The project involves a varied programme of research, education/training, and engagement activities that aim to support these partners in the mission of achieving sustained improvements in individual, societal, and environmental well-being across their organisations and regions.
My role within EUniWell has two main parts. First, I am working with Professor Raquel Ortega-Argilés (City-REDI) to develop a methodological framework that can be used to evaluate the impacts of the EUniWell programme on economic, social, and environmental well-being at a regional level. Second, I am working with Professor Robin Miller (Department of Social Work and Social Care) on a pair of Policy Commissions that will investigate how universities and civil society can collaborate to address inequalities in individual and social well-being across Europe following the COVID-19 pandemic. The first of these Policy Commissions will focus on the ongoing effects of the pandemic on young people (15-24 year olds) from different socio-economic backgrounds and at different stages of education and/or employment.
My academic background is in the field of economic geography, but over time my career as a researcher has taken an increasingly interdisciplinary and policy-oriented course that I look forward to continuing in City-REDI. I came to Birmingham from the University of Sheffield where I was a member of the Centre for Regional Economic and Enterprise Development (CREED) in the Management School. Before this, I worked at Newcastle University in the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS) and as a researcher on the Urban Living Partnership pilot project for Newcastle and Gateshead (Newcastle City Futures). A recurring theme of my work across these different positions has been the role of universities in city and regional development. Most recently, this has been as part of an international team working on a Regional Studies Association Policy Expo book on the topic. This also intersects with a broader research interest in regional innovation systems and policy that has recently involved studies of the emergence and evolution of new industries (such as the AI sector in Montreal).
The views expressed in this analysis post are those of the authors and not necessarily those of City-REDI / WMREDI or the University of Birmingham.